Last night – unrestful sleep. It was pretty chilly! So the lure of a hot shower, a soft bed, and a chance to do laundry inexorably pulled me in the direction of a motel in Lickdale, PA, since I’d not had any of the above since I left Duncannon a week or so back. Not a zero day, no, since I hiked six miles to get here and will hike on in the morning. A nearo.
It was a pretty easy hike, all told. A walk along ridgeline, two steep descents into a pleasant walk through a field, then into Swatara State Park (where oddly, camping is not allowed). We stopped to chat with a turkey hunter on the way; poor man, we were the only turkeys he saw today!
From Swatara State Park to the road into Lickdale was only 1.3 miles. Topographically, it showed as a bump on my map, and so I airily declared it would be no trouble at all. By the end of it, Morning Song was ready to cheerfully clobber me. One of the steepest ascents I have run into yet on the trail, and mentally, we were not ready for it. Also it was muddy. That did not help.
But when we finally did reach the road, he magically Ubered up a ride, and we got to the Days Inn, for all the chores done, and hit the McDonald’s like a whirlwind. It’s an understatement to say we were both hungry… I devoured two cheeseburgers, a large fry, and a chicken snack wrap, plus a cookie. Four hours later, I was hungry again, but we just got ice cream. You burn a lot of calories, hiking. Your body demands you replace them. What can you do?
In the last three days, I’ve hiked 26 miles. I’ll add on another 11 tomorrow. By my calculations, so far I have walked (not counting mistakes and blue-blaze trails): 0.9 miles in West Virginia, approximately 41 miles in Maryland, and 117.3 miles in Pennsylvania, for a grand total of 159.2 miles, in 20 walking days. So far. Bit by bit, it adds up.
I hike on.